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australian rowers profiles and history

John L Blackwood

Balmain Rowing Club (NSW)

The following and also linked obituary was published on the Rowing NSW website on 9th May 2023.

It is with sadness that we report the loss of Balmain Rowing club’s old oarsman, John Leslie Blackwood, who passed away on 14th April, 2023 at the age of 87. 

John joined Balmain Rowing Club in July 1975 after moving to nearby Gow Street where he lived for the rest of his life. Taking up sculling late in life John purchased a new sculling boat from Sargent & Burton to train in his own backyard on Iron Cove.

Throughout the decades John never lost interest in the sport of rowing and Balmain Rowing club. He took on various executive roles in assisting with the management of BRC throughout its highs and lows. From 1977-82 he held the role of Honorary Treasurer, 1985-90 John was an active Committee member and during this same period he was appointed BRC’s Delegate to NSWRA.

Always keen to assist with beginners, John's focus was on developing school age scullers, this was recognised in 1986 by being awarded the Frank Hidden Memorial Trophy for outstanding work encouraging beginners into and within the club.

John’s dedication in all areas of club life was recognised in 1987 when he was voted Clubman of the Year by his fellow club members and presented with the Francis Turner Perpetual trophy.

John continued to be a loyal Balmain RC member into his mature years, he maintained his interest in the direction of the club, particularly the recent redevelopment of the boatshed. John Blackwood’s continuing commitment was acknowledged in 2020 when he was made an Associate Life Member.

We are privileged to have had this great clubman associated with BRC and the wider rowing community for almost 50 years.

May he rest in peace.


Extracted by Andrew Guerin
May 2023

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